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Won’t Get Bleached Again. | Manolo for the Big Girl

Won’t Get Bleached Again.

Are bleached eyebrows coming back? Because I am NOT doing that again.

Let me take you back to a dark and mysterious time I’d like to call the fall of 1997. A young and not-quite-sartorially-together Miss Plumcake was a college freshman with peroxide red hair and bleached eyebrows.

Let me give you a complete list of people who thought that was a good idea:

  • Makeup Artist Kevyn Aucoin in his book Making Faces (he said it would open up my face)
  • Me, at the time.

Let me give you a list of people who thought that was a good idea and were right.

But it was everywhere in the September issue of Vogue.

At Prada:

At Versace:

At Balenciaga:

(Gingers can be tricky, so I looked up Marton Dorfler’s catalog. He definitely has eyebrows)

At Alexander McQueen:

At Pucci

I’m so glad Amber Valletta is still working. If you want to see how models have gotten so much thinner in the past 20 years, just look at Amber Valletta’s early covers. Not a sunken eye socket or hollow cheek to be seen.


Jil Sander and Bottega Veneta

Readers will recognize Codie Young —the scapegoat for last year’s Topshop Photoshop debacle— as the model for Jil Sander.

And while it works editorially –although Mert and Marcus, the photographers behind many of the best campaigns and editorials, can make anything work– I cannot wholeheartedly recommend it for daily wear.

Still, it’s an interesting look. So what do you think? Would you bleach your brows?

16 Responses to “Won’t Get Bleached Again.”

  1. Thea August 28, 2012 at 9:04 pm #

    only if I can take people out like in the movie Hannah

  2. SarahDances August 28, 2012 at 9:35 pm #

    No way. I love a strong, well-groomed brow. I’ve noticed that shaping and filling in my eyebrows are the best way to look more polished without looking like I’m Wearing Makeup. This one is a big no, thank you.

  3. Brie Jones August 28, 2012 at 9:44 pm #

    I have red hair and my brows look like that naturally – in order to be able to see them, I have to fill them in. Sometimes I get my lashes and brows tinted to save myself the trouble. I can’t say I would mind it coming into style, but I’m so used to “correcting” it that it would seem odd.

  4. Lindsay August 28, 2012 at 9:49 pm #

    Well, as a redhead I was born with bleached brows and eyelashes, so, shrug. It’s always good to milk a high fashion trend when it stumbles upon you. On non redheads? I think I like the severity sometimes is really, really appealing. Just as is a ridiculously elaborate eye or brow. I might have styled the rest of it a bit softer, though. Codie Young looks like she just came out of chemo, and needs that chair for support.

  5. OS August 28, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

    Bleach my eyebrows? No way!

    Excellent post, Miss Plumcake. I find Vogue overwhelming, so it was really cool to have you parse some of the spreads and discover that commonality that the designers seem to be depending on this season.

    On another note, do you have any thoughts about why Mert and Marcus can produce so many of the photos for so many different designers’ collections and have them look different? I find it amazing that the industry would rely so heavily on just one team of photographers; its almost like a conspiracy…and come to think of it, a handful of models each season seem to work most of the runway shows…weird…

  6. Cat August 28, 2012 at 10:54 pm #

    I find that my brows look best when I don’t tamper with their natural color. I’ve never bleached them, but my hair stylist has dyed them darker to match my hair. I made her stop doing that because I felt like it made me look like Bert from Sesame Street. I fear bleaching them would make me look equally silly.

  7. The Accidental Tangoiste August 28, 2012 at 11:50 pm #

    Most of these models are very alien-looking to me, as can also be seen in the Celebrities Without Eyebrows blog. Somehow removing (or rendering nearly invisible) the eyebrows strips the face of so much expression… I find that rather than opening the face up, it actually closes it, in that sense. (No offense to the naturally alabaster of brow out there! Probably the dramatic contrast between the hair color and brow color in many of the photos makes a difference.)

    I have a tangential eyebrow-related question, which I’ve been pondering for some time: Where is the line between carefully groomed and overplucked?

    I think it may be a “you’ll know it when you see it” kind of thing, but are there guidelines one might attempt to apply? Does it depend partly on the shape of the face and the natural shape, fullness, etc., of one’s brows?

    I can tell, of course, in the most drastic cases, like if someone has plucked their brows into mathematically perfect arches with no variation in thickness at all, or into a kind of sperm shape with a very full head and a long skinny tail–but what about the hazier middle ground, where it seems like a slight misjudgment may make the difference between attractive and overdone? (And I’m sure most of us have been there at least once, if we pluck our brows at all!)

  8. Bethany August 28, 2012 at 11:58 pm #

    Sometimes I lighten my eyebrows a few shades, but that’s because they’re black and my hair is lighter brown.

  9. Liz August 29, 2012 at 6:16 am #

    *clutches pearls*


    It’s not that I wince at the thought of other people doing it. It’s just that I’m very short and very baby faced. My “strong” (ie, thick and unplucked) eyebrows are the only thing that keep me looking – sorta – like a grownup.

  10. BJ August 29, 2012 at 8:56 am #

    Caustic chemicals that close to my baby blues? No thank you. I don’t even use eye makeup remover; I use olive oil.

  11. Laurel Ann August 29, 2012 at 10:26 am #

    NO WAY!!! I love my full eyebrows way too much… and they take enough maintenance already to keep them from being a full blown Frida Kahlo. I am also not into bleach being that close to my precious eyes… y’know?


  12. daisyj August 29, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

    On models in an editorial: alien and ethereal. On anyone else: Got drunk, fell asleep on the couch, friends had hilarious idea.

  13. Missie Sue August 29, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

    This is one of those beauty trends that looks great on Alexander McQueen models, but not so much on me. I have what has been called a “soft” face (meaning plump and innocent looking); strong, defined brows are one of the ways I hold onto a bit of structure.

  14. Ellen W. August 29, 2012 at 4:15 pm #

    I remember reading that and being so glad that there was at least one thing Kevyn was wrong about. Of course, it worked great in that one specific makeover instance. And everyone interested in make-ups should read Making Faces.

  15. ZaftigWendy August 30, 2012 at 4:25 am #

    Mine are bleaching themselves. They’re going grey, even though I haven’t any grey hairs on my actual scalp.

    I color ’em in. The no-eyebrow look is not attractive on this fatty’s face.

  16. Miss Lou September 2, 2012 at 12:45 am #

    I work at high schools. The teenagers are impressionable enough without me going to work looking like the monster from the slasher flick they just watched over the weekend. This look is not me nor would be flattering to anyone I actually know.

    Besides, with my very fair skin, very dark brown hair and black brows, bleaching would result in a weird orange/red hybrid, not the blonde of the photos.